The FDA Wants More Money

Unlike Nancy Nord (she’s the CPSC boss that tried to hint to Congress that her agency needed more funding through sly winks and interpretive dance numbers), the FDA chief is ignoring Bush’s “do not ask for more money” rule and demanding more funds.

From the Wall Street Journal:

The FDA’s leader, in an unusual public departure from Bush administration policy, says in an interview that he requested more than the 2.95% increase in overall agency appropriations proposed in the president’s 2009 budget, though he declines to discuss specific figures. An outside advisory panel yesterday suggested the agency needs about 150% added to its appropriated base budget, phased in over five years, to cope with challenges such as inspecting a rising tide of imports.

“I think to do what we need to do requires substantially more dollars than what has been invested in the FDA thus far,” Dr. von Eschenbach says. “This is a systemic overhaul that must go on over a period of years.”

Congress, however, may be reluctant to give money to such a poorly run agency:

One Democrat, Rep. Bart Stupak of Michigan, who chairs a House subcommittee that has held a series of hearings about the FDA, has called for Dr. von Eschenbach’s resignation. He and John Dingell, another Michigan Democrat, who chairs the Energy and Commerce Committee, say they will seek broad legislative reforms of the agency.

“He’s the captain of the ship,” Mr. Stupak says. “He’s the one who comes here and tells me, ‘Mr. Chairman, everything is wonderful, everything is just wonderful.'” He adds that “Congress is in no mood to put money into an FDA that is badly broken and they have no plan.”

The FDA is responsible for ensuring the safety of 1/5 of all consumer products.

FDA Chief Is in Budget Bind [Wall Street Journal]